We expect a lot of toilet paper. We need it to be strong, and soft, and comfortable when we’re using it but we expect it to break down quickly once it’s flushed. Toilet paper that doesn’t perform each function well is not desirable – if it doesn’t hold up well when being used then it’s not doing its primary job, and if it doesn’t break down quickly after flushing then it is a risk for clogging pipes and septic systems.
Best Septic Safe Toilet Paper
The best septic safe toilet paper would be fastest dissolving toilet paper that first held strong and true. Having to use more toilet paper because it doesn’t hold together well during use is counter-intuitive to the idea of it breaking down quickly once flushed. More toilet paper will just take longer to break down.
|Image||Title||# of Rolls||Buy|
|Top||Scott Rapid-Dissolving Toilet Paper||48||Check Up-to-Date Price on Amazon|
|Cottonelle Ultra CleanCare Toilet Paper||24||Check Up-to-Date Price on Amazon|
|Seventh Generation White Toilet Paper||48||Check Up-to-Date Price on Amazon|
|Freedom Living Septic Safe Toilet Paper||16||Check Up-to-Date Price on Amazon|
|Caboo Tree Free Bamboo Toilet Paper||24||Check Up-to-Date Price on Amazon|
What Makes a Toilet Paper ‘Septic Safe’
- Biodegradable. A biodegradable toilet paper is designed to break down more quickly. The bonds in the paper are looser and there are no non-dissolvable fibers in the toilet paper to slow down the process of breaking down when exposed to water.
- Recycled. Recycled toilet paper doesn’t necessarily break down more quickly than non recycled toilet paper, but it doesn’t contain any bleach or other harsh chemicals that might affect the delicate balance in a septic system. There is more at work in your septic system than simply water; the microbiome in a septic system uses the waste as food energy and contributes to the breakdown of both waste and toilet paper.
It’s Going To Be A Compromise
Unless the toilet paper you currently use breaks down very quickly, it’s likely that you’re going to consider making a switch. It’s best to realize early that this is likely going to mean a compromise. You probably chose your current toilet paper based on a combination of comfort, strength, and price and so it’s likely that at least one of those has to give way in order to have a product that is better for your septic system. Luckily, it likely won’t be price – a not-quite-as-soft, not-quite-as-strong toilet paper is probably going to cost less.
A good suggestion is to make the change slowly. Try a different brand of toilet paper next time – one that is a little more biodegradable, maybe even recycled – and try the DIY Experiment at the end of this article to see how it does. If it passes the test, and you and your family like it, then you’ve found a new toilet paper. If not, then try again next time until you find the right balance of compromise and performance.
5 Septic Safe Toilet Papers
Scott Rapid-Dissolving Toilet Paper
A toilet paper that delivers what it says; soft, strong, absorbent, AND breaks down 4x faster than other brands. This paper is specifically made for septic systems and RV systems. It passes the test for comfort and strength and is proven to break down quickly to allow septic systems to work as they should.
Cottonelle Ultra CleanCare Toilet Paper
Cottonelle is another trusted toilet paper brand that is producing a toilet paper that is great for regular use, great for septic systems, and good for the environment too. It’s a one-ply toilet paper but with quilting that provides better absorbance and strength while not affecting the ability to break down quickly in the tank. Paraben free, with no dyes or scents added means it’s also good for the environment.
Seventh Generation White Toilet Paper
This 100% recycled toilet paper contains no chlorine bleach, inks, dyes, or fragrances. Seventh Generation is an environmentally friendly company whose products are known to work and be non-toxic to family, pets, and the environment. This toilet paper works well with low-flow toilets, RV’s, and septic systems.
Freedom Living RV Toilet Paper
A 2-ply toilet paper with gentle ripples to increase strength and comfort, yet degrades rapidly in just minutes. Honestly, it’s probably more suited to RV and marine use than in your home bathroom but, if you have a particularly sensitive septic system, then this may just help to keep it running smoothly.
Caboo Tree-Free Bamboo Toilet Paper
A toilet paper made of bamboo and sugar cane rather than trees. Bamboo and sugar cane are fast growing grasses that are sustainable options for producing paper fibres. It is chlorine, paraben, scent, and dye-free but this 2 ply toilet paper still gets the job done and then dissolves quickly. A great alternative to traditional toilet paper.
Worst Toilet Paper for Septic Systems
As important as it is to know the best septic safe toilet paper, it’s also important to know the worst toilet paper for septic systems so that you can avoid it and keep you septic system in the best shape it can be. The worst toilet paper would be the opposite of the best; it would not be very strong AND it wouldn’t break down quickly.
Here are some ‘features’ to avoid so that you don’t choose the worst toilet paper for your septic system:
- Triple (or quadruple!) ply – the more layers the toilet paper has, the more time it’s going to take to break down
- Quilted – this implies there is adhesion between the toilet paper layers – this is going to take longer to dissolve in your septic system
- Scented – adding fragrance to toilet paper is adding unwanted chemicals to your septic system, and toxic chemicals can wreak havoc on the delicate balance of the microorganisms in the system\
Do It Yourself Experiment
Here is an easy experiment you can do yourself at home to determine if the toilet paper you are using breaks down quickly or not.
- Find a mason jar, or other clear container.
- Fill the jar about 3/4 full with tap water.
- Place 4 or 5 squares of toilet paper into the jar – you can try the experiment a few times; try flat toilet paper, wadded toilet paper, ‘wrapped’ toilet paper etc.
- Put the lid on the jar and shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds.
- You can now see how much the toilet paper has broken down.
- If the toilet paper is still quite intact then you may want to consider a different brand.
- If the toilet paper is broken up into very small pieces, then you are using a septic safe toilet paper already.
Have You Considered A Bidet?
One of the best things to do for your septic system is to reduce the overall use of toilet paper. Bidets are seeing a rise in popularity in North America and one of the reasons is the desire to use less toilet paper.
I’ll admit that when I think of a bidet I think of the stand-alone, intimidating, fixture that was in my grandmothers bathroom. But bidets have (thankfully) evolved! Now integrated into toilet design, they are convenient, effective, efficient, hygienic, comfortable, and good for the environment.
There are three, general, designs; all of them will reduce toilet paper usage and make your septic system happy.
Bidet Attachments. This is the quickest, and simplest, way to add a bidet to your existing toilet. The attachment fits underneath the existing toilet seat and plumbs into the toilet water supply valve. These versions provide basic bidet functions such as directional water spray, and water pressure control.
This Bona Bidet model is one of the most affordable options. Just buying less toilet paper will pay for this within a few months!
The Alpha Bidet One is one of our top picks in the toilet seat bidet category. It has a few more features than an attachment model but the price point is still very reasonable. This article also contains some tips on what to consider when choosing a bidet.
Electric Toilet Seat Bidets. As always, electricity revolutionizes everything. For bidets, electricity brings the options of warm water washing, heated toilet seats, and hot air drying; luxury features that are definitely worth it, especially in the dead of winter!
As a trusted name brand, it’s no surprise that Kohler comes out on top when considering bathroom fixtures. Their Novita electric bidet seat water temperature selection, directional water spray, auto-cleaning nozzles, and more. It’s a luxury edition that will make you forget all about toilet paper!!